Saturday, May 31, 2014

ForeWord Review for Resurrection

Joseph masterfully navigates the complexities of her world’s political landscape with a
balance between character development and dramatic action.
In Resurrection, the exciting next volume in the Alterran Legacy series, Regina M.
Joseph explores how a colony’s relationship to its home planet changes when its lifeline is
severed. Stretched between two worlds, this is a battle between progress and tradition,
adaptation and stagnation, and the power struggle to control the emergence of a new way of life.
After an interstellar catastrophe reduces the surface of Alterran to a barren wasteland and
destroys much of its colony on Earth, including the portal between the planets, the colonists are
forced to make difficult decisions that threaten centuries of tradition. A hybrid clan emerges, led
by En.Lil, who realizes the old ways will lead to the colonists’ demise. When the portal is later
repaired and travel between the worlds renewed, the things the colonists did to survive come
back to haunt them as Alterran’s powerful elite questions their loyalty. The ruling En family is
eager to bring the Earth colony back in line. But those who tasted freedom on Earth are no
longer content with the prescribed society engineered by Supreme Leader Ama, and a power
vacuum on Alterran spreads cracks in the foundation of their perfect world.
When a message from the ancient Anunnaki is discovered deep underground, Ama’s son
and successor, Anu, takes it as a sign that his ascension as supreme leader is blessed. Will the
changes he seeks bring a new age of peace to his people, or will his departure from tradition
cause his downfall?
The story is wonderfully complex and rich in both interpersonal relationships and larger
political strategies. This is particularly true among Ama, Anu, and Anu’s son, En.Lil, as they
each try to gain power without upsetting the family dynasty. This generational tension is
handled with subtlety and realism through their conflicting goals and allegiances. Seemingly
every character has a plan to achieve power, which gives each action and speech a deeper dimension. This complexity, though, is also a drawback. With everyone scheming, it can be
difficult to keep track of alliances, motivations, and histories. However, Joseph masterfully
moves through the complexities with a solid balance between establishing scenes and dramatic
An emphasis on dialogue and personality creates realistic characters, but they come at
the cost of rich descriptions of settings. This causes some scene changes to be confusing and
sudden. It’s not always immediately clear where events are taking place, particularly when the
portal between Alterran and Earth reopens and characters begin moving between worlds. This
would be helped by additional reminders about settings and past events from the previous books
in the series. Even so, the story quickly pulls through with engaging political intrigue, dramatic
betrayals, and fascinating links between Sumerian myth and interstellar civilization.
Resurrection is a beautifully crafted addition to a series that will leave readers eager for
more. With her talent for balancing complex concurrent plotlines and realistic characters, it’s
clear that Joseph continues to be an author to watch.
Eric Anderson

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